Winning the battle for atheist civil rights demands we work together to further the advancement of these civil rights and continue to demand the removal of religious beliefs, particularly Christian beliefs, from the privileged legal and social position they hold in America now. Accomplishing these goals includes embracing and supporting our allies in other nations as well as aligning with potential allies from other causes, especially those who are targeted by those who use their religious beliefs to control the actions and restrict the liberty of others. In practical terms, this means supporting social justice causes and having no tolerance for those who discriminate, even when the person doing the discriminating has been a long time member of an organization dedicated to fighting for atheist civil rights.
Recently, Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, received correspondence from an long term member that he found disturbing. The correspondence consisted of one of those anti-Muslim chain letters that tend to regularly infest our email boxes. The content of the email is as follows (original emphasis, grammar and spelling errors included):
Isn’t this precious! A Muslim in charge of US Citizenship papers.
This is not a joke! Most Americans have NO IDE A. Please forward this to as many people as you can.
Meet Our New Assistant Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
See: http://muslimobserver. com/presidential-appointment- fatima-noor/Meet Fatima Noor, President Obama’s latest appointment to a high level position in the Department of Homeland Security,
the post of Assistant Director for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration.
Ms. Noor has little if any experience in the compliance or enforcement fields. Her total experience in government related work is limited to volunteer work with World Relief Memphis and as activities coordinator the Tennessee Immigrant and
Refugee Rights Coalition.
(You probably didn’t know that Refugees now have rights in America)
She majored in psychology with minors in Spanish and Arabic international relations. She recently completed a month-long research fellowship in Muslim psychology hosted by Carnegie-Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh ; her research will be ongoing as part of her work at the DHS.No….this is not a joke!
Nearly all of Obama’s appointments are Muslim.
Dave Silverman’s response was as follows:
This is a gross email. So all Muslims are unqualified for positions? Pathetic and scary. Please remove me from your lists.
I am glad there are a few conservative Atheists still around. First you court homosexuals and fill the magazine with their sick promos and now you defend religious Muslims. What are you doing to O’Hair’s work?
Then Dave’s turn:
Learning the difference between fighting religion and succumbing to bigotry. Conservative doesn’t mean bigoted or ignorant. You are both the latter. Good day.
And back to the emailer:
From current experience i am more involved and knowledgeable than you about immigration procedures and its miseries. Therefore i am not an ignorant. I also have homosexual tenants and have for many years, both men and women, therefore i am not a bigot. But you David, look into the mirror and as your predecessor, you will see a wolf in sheep’s skin.
There’s more and there is no point in posting the entire exchange here but suffice to say, Dave Silverman and by extension American Atheists will not tolerate that sort of nonsense and will call it out, even if it comes from long time members.
There is absolutely no one’s money or support that we need badly enough to put up with that.
(Photo credit: agoolapulapu; https://www.flickr.com/photos/28818924@N02/3169832701)
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